You don’t say

“You make a plan, and sometimes you have to revise your plan.”

– The Wichita chamber’s Barby Jobe who, upon being told CEO Bryan Derreberry was leaving, immediately realized she’d need to replace two billboards that feature him

Brit Hume is the speaker for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce annual dinner

WICHITA — Two weeks after this November’s elections, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce is bringing in a speaker to help dissect them.

Broadcaster Brit Hume, who is with Fox News, is the speaker for the chamber’s annual meeting on Nov. 16.

“It’s just a great opportunity for us to hear from someone who lives it every day,” says chamber spokeswoman Barby Jobe.

She says Hume’s talk is likely to focus on what the latest headlines out of Washington mean for business owners here.

“We always strive to find people . . . that maybe the community hasn’t had an opportunity to hear from,” Jobe says.

Will the connection to the often polarizing Fox News keep some people away, though?

“I hope not,” Jobe says. “He’s always been a fair person. I think his experience speaks for itself.”

The chamber also is hosting a July 13 debate with Republican U.S. Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt., who are vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Sam Brownback.

This spring, the chamber canceled a federal issues forum where Moran was going to be the featured speaker after complaints from Tiahrt’s office and some members.

Jobe says the debate isn’t related to the forum or its cancellation.

“This was always on the radar screen to do,” she says. “We feel it’s really important.”

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce cancels issues forum after calls of complaint

WICHITA — The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce has canceled a federal issues forum it planned for April 19 in response to complaints from its members and U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s office.

“We’ve been well communicated with,” says Sam Williams, chamber chairman.

“It’s a political year, and we didn’t probably pay enough attention to the political ramifications.”

The chamber invited U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran to speak at the forum.

Moran and Tiahrt, both Republicans, are running against each other for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback’s seat.

Williams says the forum is meant to be a nonpolitical gathering to discuss issues in Washington that affect local businesses.

“We thought this was going to be pretty interesting just because of all the health care stuff going on,” Williams says.

With the pressure that everyone is under these days, though, he says, “Things that maybe in the past wouldn’t have been so important just get overblown.”

The forum will be rescheduled, but neither Moran nor Tiahrt will be at it.

“Bottom line?” says Todd Novascone, Moran’s chief of staff. “As of yesterday or the day before, we are disinvited.”

Regarding Tiahrt’s office, Novascone says, “I don’t want to use the word arrogant . . . but I’ve never seen pressure like that. It just kind of really shocked me.”

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